If you’ve been listening to our advice, you’ve been taking advantage of Google’s free tool, the Google Search Console (previously called Google Webmaster Tools). Today, Google sent out warnings to many webmasters with the subject line “Googlebot Cannot Access CSS and JS Files.” In the email, Google warned that “blocking access to these assets can result in suboptimal rankings.”
Keep reading to learn what that means, why it matters, and what actions you should take to make sure your website performs well in Google’s search engine results.
What Are CSS and JS Files?
Why Does It Matter if Google Can Access My CSS and JS Files?
Google cares about how your pages render for a number of reasons. For example, pages that render quickly help users get to your content easier—which Google takes into consideration when they index and rank your sites.
The speed at which your page renders has become increasingly important due to more and more people using search engines and browsing websites from their mobile devices. This topic is a little too in depth for most small business owners, but there’s a great video on it here.
So why does it matter to YOUR business? When Google can’t access these files to tell how your site renders, it could harm your website’s rankings.
What Should I Do if Google Can’t Access My CSS and JS Files?
If you’ve got Google Search Console (Google Webmaster Tools) connected to your website, you can use the “fetch and render as Google” tool to determine what files are currently being blocked. Repeat this process for “Mobile: Smartphone”:
Some of the files might be third party files (such as WordPress plugins). You don’t have a lot of control over whether or not these are blocked. However, your webmaster should be able to unblock the CSS and JS files that Google needs to render your site correctly. If you don’t have a webmaster, you could always contact Blue Corona. We’ve got a whole team of ‘em.
About The Author: Lexie serves as Blue Corona's Content Marketing Manager. She's also the author of our soon-to-be famous, and someday to be written white paper, "Horse Hat SEO: Giddy-Up Your Google Rankings."
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